UK And Spanish Police Recover €6 Million (£5.1 Million) In Ponzi Scheme Investigation

UK And Spanish Police Recover €6 Million In Ponzi Scheme Investigation. image: commons wikimedia

HUNDREDS of victims affected by the Ponzi scheme might soon recover up to 40 per cent of their losses.

Hundreds of victims affected by the €15 million (£12,862,725) Ponzi scheme might soon recover up to 40 per cent of their losses due to an international law enforcement effort to recover funds, Europol reports.

The Spanish Regional Catalan Police (Mossos d’Esquadra) and the UK West Yorkshire Police have worked together, in facilitation with Europol, making it possible for Spanish authorities to investigate and recover more than €6 million (£5,145,128.39) from the Ponzi Scheme that affected over 200 victims.

The investigation began in early March 2019 following a complaint being filed in Girona, Spain, after the main suspect disappeared. More complaints followed shortly after describing a pyramid fraud carried out by the missing suspect, a Spanish national who was living in the UK and tricked his victims into apparently secure investments with high returns.

It is important in asset recovery cases that cross multiple borders that investigations are carried out in a timely manner so as to locate, freeze, confiscate and then recover the stolen assets.

Europol’s European Financial and Economic Crime Centre (EFECC) facilitated the case from the beginning and invited the Spanish and British investigators to its headquarters to go over the procedural requirements. Asset recovery experts organised the extensive exchange of information required in preparation for the confiscation of the fraudulent funds.

The main angle of the investigation was the recovery of the victims’ assets, with over €642,000 (£550,518.71)  held in bank accounts in the UK from the beginning and frozen to guarantee security for confiscation. UK investigators also succeeded in tracing back funds that had been invested online into gambling companies, a luxury vehicle, IT equipment and jewellery.

Following two years of intense collaboration, at the end of April 2021, the West Yorkshire Police transferred over 6 million (£5.1 Million) to the Spanish judicial authorities to compensate the victims. The main suspect has been in custody since 2019.

In the Eu’s battle against organised crime, confiscation is a priority in their strategy, strengthening the concept that “crime should not pay”.

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Written by

Laura Kemp

Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]